Palo Alto Police Officer to Coach U.S. Olympic Badminton Team in London

Officer Ben Lee: hostage negotiator, defensive tactics instructor, Olympic badminton coach.

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012  |  Updated 9:35 AM PDT
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Tea Time for U.S. Olympic Hopefuls

Lee has been a badminton athlete for years, competing at the international level and representing the U.S. in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.

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A Palo Alto police officer has been selected as the badminton coach for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team that is heading to London this summer.

Officer Ben Lee will lead the team at the 2012 Olympic Games held in London from July 27 to Aug. 12. Badminton matches are scheduled between July 28 and Aug. 5 at the Wembley Arena, one of the facilities hosting Olympic competitions.

Lee has been a badminton athlete for years, competing at the international level and representing the U.S. in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. That was the first year the U.S. competed in badminton during the Games.

He joined the Palo Alto police force in 2002. He briefly worked at the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, but has since returned to Palo Alto where he serves as a uniformed member of the department's Field Services Division. He is on the south Palo Alto beat and is a trained hostage negotiator and works as a defensive tactics instructor, as well.

USA Badminton announced his coaching selection for the Summer Games, however, official approval is pending from the chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee, police said.

Police officials said Lee's coaching duties will take place on his own time and not affect police operations.

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